Arts lecture-demonstration review

Science-inspired art

An MIT alumna demonstrates her work

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Julia C. Ogrydziak ‘96.
courtesy of julia ogrydziak

Julia Ogrydziak ’96

CAST Spring Sound Series

May 1, 2013

CAST’S Spring Sound Series brought to us alumna Julia C. Ogrydziak ’96, a multi-everything artist. Ogrydziak exploited all the goodness MIT had to offer her, and in return, she has made the most out of what MIT gave her. While pursuing a double degree in Physics and Music, she UROPed for a couple of years in the then-called Hyperinstruments Group at the Media Lab, which focused on multi-media and performance. After that, she pursued her interest in design by getting a degree at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. Phew.

Now based in San Francisco, Ogrydziak seems to be one of those people for whom days are 50 hours long and weeks have 10 days in them. She does not stop creating. Her talk provided a cohesive and well-narrated glimpse into her past and current doings, spanning from intimate personal photography projects to grand multi-media performances. For these, she was not only a violinist, but also a performer, a composer, and an integral part of the conception, design, production and marketing. She credited her entrepreneurial spirit to her MIT “upbringing,” and was enthusiastic in her praise of the Music Department for its invaluable peer treatment, and the support and accessibility of her professors.

Ogrydziak’s works are usually inspired and enabled by science and technology. She has a long-standing working relationship with CAPACITOR, a multidisciplinary, science-inspired collective, and is particularly interested in film as a medium. She just launched a streamlined video sharing iOS app, Moovee, and some of her artwork has paired classical music with club VJ (video jockey) technology. Ogrydziak constantly seeks ways to present her work in ways that will attract a diverse audience, and she has had the opportunity to work in spaces not originally conceived for performance — for example, her multi-media piece DARK BLUE SKY DREAM was performed at the Chabot Planetarium.

In spite of her breadth and depth, and busily creative life, Ogrydziak nonetheless retains an approachable, humble, generous, and passionate demeanor. She is an accomplished young soul, who is not afraid of embracing new technologies, and who is always on the lookout for innovative means of expression. Her talk closed with a treat: a sneak peek at Ogrydziak’s latest collaborative composition with CAPACITOR: FLOCK, which is based on the flocking behavior of birds. Hopefully, it will migrate from coast to coast because from the little taste we got, it seems like it will surely be a delightful and insightful multi-sensorial experience.